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System level design is here, Synopsys CTO says

Posted: 05 Oct 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:eda? system level design? moore's law? multiple systems?

System level design is happening now but it remains to be seen whether it will become EDA's !next big thing.

That's what Synopsys CTO and GM Raul Camposano said in his keynote !System Design: EDA's Next Big Thing?! at an industry conference held Sept. 29.

"System level design is not the next big thing," said Camposano. "It has already happened and it is here."

Camposano noted that as Moore's Law charges ahead and design complexity and gate counts continue to increase there is a growing productivity gap in which EDA companies are constantly trying to create faster higher capacity tools to help customers design with the latest and greatest silicon.

"One of the answers to raise productivity has been to raise the level of abstraction," said Camposano. "Instead of designing in transistors and gates, we should be designing systems."

Camposano said jumping up to new levels of abstraction and designing systems hasn't proven a simple task, noting that there are multiple types of systems in every application area, each with unique requirements thus complicating the task of creating a single tool that will effectively address those multiple systems areas.

Complicating matters is that as designs become more complex, new issues in the back end pop up. Camposano noted that timing, signal integrity, power consumption, design for test and design for yield are all growing concerns with each drop in process geometry.

Despite this, companies are starting to address system level design. Camposano noted that the EDA industry is addressing the problem of abstraction with ESL tools and IP companies are addressing system diversity by offering cores and platforms ! ever larger pre-designed pieces of a SoC.

Camposano noted that the while ESL design tools like synthesis are still maturing, ESL verification tools are in common use today.

Still Camposano estimates ESL is currently a $100,000 market, a small percentage of the 3.4 billion dollar EDA market. Meanwhile, the IP market has grown into a $1 billion industry, making the combined IP and ESL markets a viable $1.1 billion system level design market.

- Mike Santarini

EE Times

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